Apple is facing yet more accusations of union-busting today, with a new formal complaint alleging the company illegally dismissed five of its Kansas City store workers provoked by their union-related activities. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is leading the charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Union activists have long expressed their grievances with Apple’s attempts to quash the emerging unionization movement among its retail staff. While claims range from mandatory attendance at anti-union gatherings to creating a “fake” union and punishing union members – the latest filings come in response to the alleged firing of five of its Kansas City store workers.
The Washington Post first reported the story and cited that the workers in question all had been actively involved in campaigns to organize a union. An official statement from Apple explains that the five workers were dismissed for attendance-related matters, however, the CWA have publicly stated that this is a typical union-busting tactic – one that was put in effect to intimidate otherPotential unionists from taking part in the process.
One of the employees fired, Gemma Wyatt, who had worked at Apple in Kansas City for seven years, began organizing at the store last spring, only to be subject to disciplinary proceedings for being an average of one minute late on three occasions. Shortly after, she was then issued a dismissal notice in early February.
The issue is being taken very seriously amid calls for NLRB to look into the incident further. Experts in union affairs who have spoken out on the issue have warned that while union-busting may seem like an effective measure in the short term, the consequences can be long term, and far-reaching too.
The firing of the five Kansas City store workers is just the latest in a string of allegations that Apple has acted illegally in a bid to prevent staff unionization. In the wake of this news, the CWA are calling on the Cupertino to cease any such attempts, and are holding firm in their anti-union-busting stance.
At this time, it’s not yet clear what the final outcome of these latest claims against Apple may be. However, if found guilty in breaking labor laws, the CWA are sure to heavily reprimand the company and are likely to seek for those dismissed to be reinstated.
Comment below with your thoughts on the latest union busting allegations against Apple. What do you think the final outcome may be?